The State Theatre pages: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | ticket lobby | lobbies and lounges | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | projection booth | backstage | basement cafeteria |
1921 - Steel is going up for the State in this March 16 photo in the collection of the Los Angeles Public Library. The photo was taken by George F. Adair Photo Service.
1921 - An alley view of the nearly complete building in the collection of the Los Angeles Public Library. It was taken August 5 by George F. Adair Photo Service. Note that the lower building to the left of the State's exit stairs is the Palace of Pictures Theatre on 7th St. -- soon to close. The building is still there but it's been retail since 1921.
1921 - A J.C. Milligan construction photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. Note the Ackerman and Harris name on the signage. That San Francisco based firm would be operating the theatre for Loew.
More construction photos from the George F. Adair Co. in the LAPL collection: beginning - Feb 4 | framing underway - March 4 | framing - top of building - March 8 | balcony framing - April 15 | from Broadway - April 15 | from Broadway - May 13 | alley view - May 27 | front view - August 19 | front view - nearly complete - September 16 |
1921 - An early tinted postcard look at Loew's State from Cezar Del Valle's Theatre Talks collection. It's based on a pre-opening drawing. Here we don't have much in the way of a marquee on either side and no vertical sign yet on the corner. Cezar is a Brooklyn-based theatre historian. For other interesting material see his website Theatre Talks and visit him on Facebook
1921 - This pre-opening photo is from the collection of Fred McSpadden, longtime Los Angeles and Arizona theatre manager. His notes on the back of the photo indicate it was taken "about 3 weeks before opening" and that he was the assistant manager. Note the November 12th date for the opening is visible on both marquees. The photo appears courtesy of Bill Buehler of the Fox Tucson Memories Project.
1922 - The State with Viola Dana in "The Five Dollar Baby," a June release. The marquee also advertises a "Classy Girl Revue" with a cast of 25. It's a lovely postcard from the Michelle Gerdes collection. Thanks, Michelle! The Los Angeles Public Library also has a version of the card.
also from 1922: "Broadway Rose"- Los Angeles Public Library | west on 7th - Los Angeles Public Library | "Gay and Devilish" - Doris May - Los Angeles Public Library |
c.1923 - A superb postcard from the Michelle Gerdes collection appearing as a post on the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page. Note that there's no readerboard yet on the second floor. Check out the second vertical and marquee at the 7th St. entrance. It was in use until 1936.
from 1923: "The Meanest Man in the World" - looking north - Los Angeles Public Library | "Famous Mrs. Fair" - Los Angeles Public Library |
1924 - A postcard of the State from the James Staub collection appearing on the SoCal Historic Architecture Facebook page. The program that week included "Wine of Youth" with Eleanor Boardman, the Fanchon and Marco "Birdland" Idea, and a Lloyd Hamilton comedy.
also from 1924: "Woman on the Jury" with Frank Mayo - looking north - USC Digital Library
from 1925: "A Slave of Fashion" - "Greater Movie Season" banner - USC Digital Library | "Cheaper To Marry" - USC Digital Library |
1920s - A view looking north on Broadway from Elizabeth Fuller on Flickr. It's from her wonderful Old Los Angeles Postcards collection. The 600 block with the Orpheum/Palace is on the right. The card was mailed in 1940 but it's obviously a pre-1926 picture as what is now called the Palace Theatre still has the vertical signs saying "Orpheum."
also from the 1920s: straight down - 7th & Broadway - Los Angeles Public Library | straight down - another view - LAPL | straight down - yet another - LAPL |
1926 - A California Historical Society photo looking south on Broadway. It's in the USC Digital Library collection.
1926 - A detail from the USC photo above. The State is playing "Into Her Kingdom," an August release with Corinne Griffith. Note the matching marquees of the theatre and the basement cafeteria, just beyond. The signage atop the marquee has a West Coast Theatres logo and lettering underneath that reads "Everybody Goes to West Coast Shows."
1926 - A view from above of downtown's busiest intersection. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding this one. Loew's State is playing "Syncopating Sue" starring Corinne Griffith.
1926 - A Los Angeles Public Library photo looking north toward Loew's State and 7th St. Note the "cafeteria" sign on the marquee above the office building entrance. The cafeteria was in the basement. The theatre was running "Men of Steel," a July release.
also from 1926: "The Waning Sex" - Los Angeles Public Library | south on Broadway - Los Angeles Public Library | looking down at 7th & Broadway - May Murray - "Valencia" - Los Angeles Public Library | looking east on 7th + Pantages dome - Los Angeles Public Library |
c.1927 - A C.C. Pierce view looking north on Broadway in the collection of the Huntington Digital Library Library. Note that the Palace has its new signage and is no longer the Orpheum. There are also versions of the photo in the USC Digital Library and in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. On the USC and Huntington sites you can use the slider to get a larger image -- then you can pan around to explore details.
also c.1927: north toward the Palace - another shot - Los Angeles Public Library
1928 - "See and Hear." The theatre is advertising talking news on the marquee in the photo used in an ad for Spencer vacuum systems and organ blowers in the December 28, 1929 issue of Motion Picture News. Too bad the title of the feature can't be read on the marquee. Of interest is the fact that none of the three theatres Spencer picked to promote their product were built or initially operated by West Coast Theatres or Fox West Coast. Thanks to Mike Hume for spotting the ad on Internet Archive. Visit his page about the State on his terrific Historic Theatre Photography site.
1928 - A photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection of a Christmas star over 7th & Broadway and the State running "Dream of Love" with Joan Crawford, a silent released in December.
1928 - A postcard based on the LAPL photo above. It's from Elizabeth Fuller's great Old Los Angeles Postcards collection on Flickr, 686 at last count.
1929 - A look up 7th St. toward the Pantages in a Los Angeles Public Library collection photo.
1929 - A Christmas 1929 view north toward 7th from the Dick Whittington Studio in the USC Digital Library collection. Look near the corner of the building for what appear to be the vertical sections of neon tubing added on the facade. This array near the corner vertical and a zig-zag design farther away from the center show more clearly in later photos. It appears to have stayed up through 1941.
1929 - A detail from the USC photo above, giving us a close look at the marquee. Note the changeable neon letters used on the readerboard above the marquee. And look at that end panel of the marquee with almost a digital sign look to it -- presumably a programmable array of incandescent lamps. The 1929 photo is part of a set surveying downtown Christmas decorations that year. Thanks to Stephen Russo for finding the set of 7 photos on the USC site.
from 1930: down onto the marquee - Rube Wolf appearing - Los Angeles Public Library
1931 - A USC Digital Library view looking south on Broadway. The decorations are for the November Fiesta Week. And note the added neon on either side of the corner vertical, presumably a 1929 installation.
1931 - The State running "Body and Soul" along with the Fanchon & Marco "Mickey Mouse Idea." The photo is in the Tom B'hend and Preston Kaufmann Collection, part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library Digital Collection. Note the banner proclaiming the State the birthplace of the Fanchon & Marco "Ideas."
1932 - A glorious view west on 7th with the street decorated for the Olympics. The card is in the collection of Michelle Gerdes. Thanks, Michelle!
1932 - Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding this 7th St. view and posting it on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles. The photo had appeared on a KCET Olympics page where they credit the LA 84 Foundation. The small building beyond the State was the Palace of Pictures from 1916 through 1921. The building survives, as retail.
1930s - A wonderful Broadway postcard in the Theatres collection of Gerald DeLuca on Photobucket. Looking north, you can see the Palace Theatre up the street.
1934 - A look south from the Palace. Thanks to Michelle Gerdes for sharing this great card from her collection.
1934 - A detail from a larger photo appearing on pages 36 and 37 in Tom Zimmerman and J. Eric Lynxwiler's wonderful Angel City Press book "Spectacular Illumination: Neon Los Angeles 1925-1965." The State is running "The Mystery of Mr. X" with Robert Montgomery, Elizabeth Allan and Lewis Stone. Note the neon arrow below the Broadway vertical pointing down to the entrance. The photo is from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library collection. Thanks to Tom, Eric and AMPAS!
1935 - We're looking west on 7th at the side entrance. The photo is one of a set of five Dick Whittington Studio photos in the USC Digital Library collection featuring hordes of May Co. shoppers. The film this week is "China Seas." The Warner is down a block at 7th & Hill.
also from 1935: looking east on 7th from Hill - USC Digital Library
1937 - Our last look at the old marquee. They're running "Wife, Doctor and Nurse" with Loretta Young and Warner Baxter, a September release. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the photo for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.
1937 - A Herman Schultheis photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection gives us a view looking north with the State running "Double Wedding" (an October release) and "45 Fathers." Check out the theatre's new marquee. Also note the marquee on the extreme left, to the south of the office building entrance, still saying "Cafeteria."
c.1937 - Christmas crowds at 7th & Broadway in a Los Angeles Public Library collection photo by Herman Schultheis.
1937 - A view south with the State running "The Bride Wore Red." It's a Herman Schultheis photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. Note the great neon curlicues on the building.
1938 - Frasher Foto Card looking up 7th, with the Warner in the distance. It's on the Online Archive of California site from the collection of the Pomona Public Library.
1938 - A photo from the Los Angeles Public Library with the State running "Happy Landing" with Don Ameche. They also have a somewhat cropped version in the collection.
1939 - A look east on 7th St. toward Broadway. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding this one. Note the zig-zag neon on the facade.
1939 - A photo from the L.A. Times Framework page of the Labor Day parade passing 7th & Broadway.
also from 1939: looking north from 8th & Broadway - USC Digital Library
1940 - This great postcard appears in Elizabeth Fuller's Old Los Angeles Postcards collection on Flickr. We're looking up 7th toward the Warner. The State's second feature is "Dr. Kildare Goes Home."
1940 - A Los Angeles Times photo that was published in their November 19 issue. Thanks to the Facebook page Los Angeles Relics for posting it and Gary Fimbres for sharing it on the SoCal Historic Architecture page. The photo is in the UCLA L.A. Times Photographic Archives.
also from 1940: "Brigham Young" - north from 8th - Gallen Kamp's shoes - USC Digital Library | "The Man I Married " - looking south to the Globe - USC Digital Library | "The Man I Married" - from above - USC Digital Library |
early 1940s? - A postcard in the California State Library collection featuring a Bob Plunkett photo looking north from between 7th and 8th with the Loew's State building on the left. Note that we still have the zig-zag neon on the facade, something that was gone by 1942.
1942 - Looking north on Broadway toward Loew's State. The Los Angeles Public Library has the photo in their Blackstock Negatives collection.
1942 - A May photo by Bob Landry for Life, part of a portfolio done for a spread called "Streetcar Party." It's on Google/Life Images. On Google, the "related images" selection has other views of the "Syncopation Special." Also see another State shot in the set. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Tourmaline for including this photo and others from the set in Noirish post #35591.
1942 - Thanks to Ken McIntyre for this "I Married an Angel" shot on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.
also from 1942: "Ten Gentlemen From West Point" - boxoffice view - USC Digital Library
c.1942 - A superb view west on 7th with a bit of Loew's State on the left, Bullocks on the right, and the Warner down the block at 7th & Hill. Thanks to Sean Ault for finding the photo on eBay.
The corner sign says "There's Always a Better Show at Loew's State." Later during the war (and as late as 1948) the top was covered with an "Open All Night" sign. That round clock we see at Hamilton Diamond Co. was evidently installed in 1940 or a bit later.
1943 - Catching the trolley in front of Loew's State. The shot was added to the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page by Michelle Gerdes.
also from 1943: "Thousands Cheer" - looking toward the Palace with "Newsreels" on the verticals - USC Digital Library | smaller, cropped version of USC photo - Los Angeles Public Library |
1944 - A look at the State during a parade to sell war bonds. It was once on Photos of Los Angeles but then disappeared. The State is running "Laura."
1944 - A rainy day parade shot with the State running "The Climax" with Boris Karloff. It was once on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page but then vanished.
also from the 1940s: 7th St. side retail - USC Digital Library
1945 - An August 14 VJ view from the Herald Examiner in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. The State has "Junior Miss" and "The Gay Senorita" and is, of course, "Open All Night."
Some Herald Examiner copy: "Riotous celebration spread through downtown Los Angeles as soon as the announcement of Japan's surrender came. Here, at Seventh and Broadway, thousands have poured out into the streets and cars are unable to break through the walls of rejoicing humanity. Emotions kept pent up through nearly four years of war were released as Angelenos cheered and wept in their happiness."
Also see two additional VJ Day views in the Library's collection: night view | another night view - west on 7th |
1945 - The Armistice Day parade in a view from the Los Angeles Public Library. The State is running Hitchcock's "Spellbound." Note the new white "modern" readerboard.
1946 - "Wake Up and Dream" -- a look down from the now demolished Lankershim Hotel onto the State marquee. The photo was a find from Ken McIntyre.
1946 - A Los Angeles Public Library view looking north on Broadway at 9 pm during a transit strike. No nightlife at all. Check out that nice neon above the readerboard: "Open All Night"
1947 - We're looking west on 7th with a bit of the bottom of the State's vertical on the left. Down a block at Hill there's a glimpse of the Warner. The Los Angeles Public Library has the photo in their Blackstock Negatives collection.
1947 - Marines in the Veterans Day parade. It's a Herald Examiner photo from the Los Angeles Public Library appearing on the LAPL Photo Collection Facebook page.
1948 - A parade view in the collection of the Los Angeles Public Library.
1948 - The view south on Broadway with the State running "That Lady in Ermine," an August 1948 release with Betty Grable. It's with "King of the Gamblers." It's on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles, a contribution by Bill Gabel.
1948 - A look down on the intersection with the State running "That Wonderful Urge," a December 25 release. It's a photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
1952 - The State's second feature is "The Sellout" with Walter Pigeon. The Woolworth's building south of the theatre is now a Ross Dress For Less. The photo is one that once appeared on Photos of Los Angeles.
1952 - Another view of the State with "The Sellout" but we can now see that the top of the bill was "Pandora and the Flying Dutchman" with James Mason and Ava Gardner. It's an Examiner photo in the USC Digital Library collection. Thanks to Eitan Alexander for finding it.
1953 - A great card looking west on 7th with the Warner down at Hill St. On the State's readerboard: Alan Ladd in "Desert Legion" with a second feature of "Stolen Identity." The card came from the now-vanished website Yesterday LA.
from 1954: "Beau Brummel" - Loew's State + smog - Los Angeles Public Library
1950s - A wonderful postcard view looking west on 7th toward Hill St. The State is running a reissue of "The Westerner" (1940) with Gary Cooper. The card was on a from the now-vanished blog Viewliner Ltd. The card has also put in an appearance on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page and also as a re-post on that site.
1950s - A rare night color view showing one of the verticals after conversion to neon. We're looking north with the Palace signage visible up the street. The postcard is in Elizabeth Fuller's Old Los Angeles Postcards collection on Flickr. The card also appears in Eric Lynxwiler's delightful Paper Ephemera collection on Flickr.
also from the 1950s: east on 7th from L.A. Athletic Club - Los Angeles Public Library
1955 - A detail from a superb Tom Zimmerman photo giving us a great look at the signage in transition. Here it's being redone with half now "The State" and half still saying "Loew's State." That truck in front is from the sign company, Brite Neon Co. "Jupiter's Darling" was a February release.
The full photo appears on pages 50 and 51 in the Angel City Press book "Spectacular Illumination: Neon Los Angeles 1925-1965" by Tom Zimmerman with J. Eric Lynxwiler. Chris Nichols discussed the book and included some Hollywood views from it with his August 2016 Los Angeles magazine article "These Photos Will Transport You to a Neon-Soaked 1930s Hollywood." Thanks to Tom for the photo and to Ken McIntyre for posting this detail on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.
United Artists Theatre Circuit had taken over the State in 1949 as a result of a Federal consent decree settlement with Fox West Coast Theatres. UATC also started running the downtown United Artists and other UA houses themselves instead of contracting with Fox. Fox and its predecessor company, West Coast Theatres, had run the State since 1925. It initially it had been operated for Loew by Ackerman and Harris, a San Francisco-based company.
1956 - A view south on Broadway from the Richard Wojcik collection. It's a view that appeared on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles. The Tower Theatre, at this time called the Newsreel, is a block away on the left. Thanks, Richard!
1956 - Looking south past an MTA maintenance truck toward the State. Thanks to Eric Lynxwiler for this photo appearing in his collection on Flickr. The theatre is running "The Catered Affair," a June release with Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine along with "Three Musketeers." Note the upper readerboard where the State is plugging "Oklahoma" playing at the United Artists.
Check out Eric's monumental Los Angeles Theatres set on Flickr and the album of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation, where this photo from Eric also appears.
1956 - A look west on 7th St. from the Metro Transportation Archive on Flickr. It's in their LATL Streetcar Lines set. We get the State at the left and the Warner down the block at Hill St. They also have a similar view from farther back.
1957 - "Make a Date at The State." A view of the theatre running "Torero" and "Town On Trial" in the Metro Transportation Archive collection on Flickr.
1957 - An L.A. Examiner photo from the USC Digital Library collection looking north on Broadway. At the State: "Designing Woman" with Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall.
1957 - A Los Angeles Public Library photo taken out a window in the building for a good look at the vertical sign. Fortunately we can see the second feature on the marquee to date the photo: David Niven in "Silken Affair," a September release. Note the Lankershim Hotel across the street -- the site now has a horrific parking garage as the hotel's replacement. Also see another view out a window from this period that's in the Library's collection.
1957 - A lovely look south at the Palace and the State from the Downtown Los Angeles album of Eric Lynxwiler on Flickr. The "Holiday Show" at the Palace looks like "The Little Hut" with Ava Gardner and "Funny Face" as the 2nd feature. The photo also appears in the LAHTF Flickr set. Thanks, Eric!
c.1957 - We're looking west on 7th toward Broadway in this fine view from the Sean Ault collection.
1958 - A look down on the busy intersection from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
also from 1958: looking north - smog mask! - Los Angeles Public Library | Dodgers parade looking north - USC Digital Library |
c.1959 - A look west on 7th with the State plugging "Ben-Hur," at the Egyptian, on their corner readerboard. It's a photo that once appeared on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.
1962 - A sweet view looking south from the Sean Ault collection. On the marquee: "5 Miles To Midnight" and "Unstoppable Man." Thanks to Sean for sending along the photo and to Matt Spero for color correction.
1962 - Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Hoss C for finding this view on eBay. Our theatre is over on the far right. Hoss has it in his Noirish post #28127.
1964 - The headline: "Ruby is Guilty." It's a photo by William Reagh in the California State Library collection. Note the State has gone to Spanish language product.
1964 - From Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality we get a look at James Bond playing the State plus a view down Broadway to the Tower, here still in its Newsreel days. It was a find on eBay. It's on Noirish post #24849.
Note the tip of the Broadway side vertical sign at the top of the photo. This may be the last photo taken when the verticals were still on the building.
from 1967: 7th St. side - William Reagh - Los Angeles Public Library | same photo: in the California State Library collection |
1970 - Looking north towards on Broadway in a view from the Sean Ault collection. The State is running "Weekend With The Babysitter" and "I, A Lover." Thanks, Sean!
1970 - Ooops. A snorkel truck overturned on Broadway. It's a Los Angeles Public Library collection photo by Bruce Howell. The State is offering us 3 Wild Hits.
1974 - Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding this view of the State running William Friedkin's "The Exorcist."
1976 - A lovely view looking south on Broadway from 7th on the Neat Stuff Blog. It's from a 2009 post called "Vintage Los Angeles." The photo is credited to "nicepictures," a seller on eBay. The Globe Theatre is halfway down in the block on the left with the Tower and Orpheum beyond.
1977 - A photo by Tom Sitton that's in the LA County Natural History Museum collection. Thanks to Mike Hume/Historic Theatre Photography for finding it on the National Park Service website. It appears with a 42 page photo gallery that accompanied the 1978 application to get the Broadway Theatre and Commercial District listed on the National Register.
Also from 1977: a facade detail - William Reagh - California State Library
1982 - A California State Library collection photo by William Reagh.
1988 - The State marquee in a photo by Gary Graver. More theatre views by cinematographer Gary Graver (1938-2006) can be seen in two compilations on You Tube: "Second Run - part 1" and "Second Run - part 2."
1993 - A look at the State from Berger Conser Architectural Photography. The theatre is running "Carlito's Way." The photo is from Anne Conser and Robert Berger's great book "The Last Remaining Seats: Movie Palaces of Tinseltown." Visit Robert Berger's website: www.robertbergerphotography.com. On the site is a portfolio of sixteen photos from the book.
1995 - This view of the marquee of the State near the end of its movie days appears on the Grace Market Research Broadway Theater Tour page.
1997 - The State marquee in a photo by Gary Graver taken during the theatre's last year as a film house.
2000 - A view south on Broadway captured by Dave Savage. The photo comes from the Sean Ault collection. The theatre was leased to a church group in 1998.
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